Fall 2023 - HIST 101 D100

Canada to Confederation (3)

Class Number: 3473

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 6 – Oct 6, 2023: Tue, 12:30–2:20 p.m.

    Oct 11 – Dec 5, 2023: Tue, 12:30–2:20 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 7, 2023
    Thu, 3:30–6:30 p.m.



A survey of Canadian history to 1867. Breadth-Humanities.


The Land and Its Peoples before Canada

This course offers an introductory survey of northern North America from its earliest beginnings to the mid nineteenth century.

Our path will chart the major themes of this history, including: the diverse ways in which the peoples Indigenous to this land made their home here; European contact and the subsequent relations between Indigenous peoples and newcomers; the development of New France; the trade in furs; imperial struggles to dominate the continent; immigration; social and political reform in nineteenth-century British North America; settler colonialism; industrialization; and the competing visions of nationhood on display in the years 1864-70, both settler and Indigenous.

Although originally framed as such, this course does not aim to offer a history of national beginnings.  Rather than attempt to study “Canadian” history before Canada existed, we will attend to the developments of the great diversity of communities and cultural and political formations to be found through this period, which arguably presented possible alternative futures.  We will play with the historian’s tool of employing periodizations, and along the way reflect on how the different interpretations of this history might be helpful in understanding life today on the lands of what is now known as Canada.

Finally, you will be introduced to key methods of historical practice, developing research, critical thinking and communication skills that can serve you well both in and beyond the study of history.


  • Tutorial Participation 25%
  • Primary Source Analysis 20%
  • Review Essay Assignment 30%
  • Final Examination 25%



Required tutorial readings will be made available on Canvas.


Bumsted, J.M., and Michael C. Bumsted.  A History of the Canadian Peoples.  Sixth Edition.  Don Mills, ON: Oxford University Press, 2022.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the semester are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.